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Photo finish: McCarthy angered by ‘tweets’

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Tom Silverstein
January 28, 2011
— Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was not apologizing for anything he has done—or will do—regarding the team’s trip to Super Bowl XLV, but he did make right what many of his players, as well as some of the public, thought was a wrong.

McCarthy said Thursday that he listened to what quarterback Aaron Rodgers and cornerback Charles Woodson said about including all players in the team photo and decided to delay the shooting until the players on injured reserve arrive later next week.


A calm and unusually loose McCarthy said in a news conference Thursday that all of the criticism over the decision to take the photo without the injured reserve players was “a total overreaction,” and that his intent was to make decisions that would be best for the team playing the game a week from Sunday.


“Somebody is going to get their feelings hurt,” McCarthy said of team plans. “As we know, we have experienced that already, and no apologizes will be given because everything we do is in the best interests of our 53 players.”


McCarthy clearly was not pleased that the issue became public through Twitter messages sent out by linebacker Nick Barnett and tight end Jermichael Finley. And he appeared not to be surprised that the comments came from those two players, both of whom are very active on Twitter.


“I had heard about the Twitter and didn’t really frankly pay much mind to it because of the individuals involved,” he said.


McCarthy said the first order of business in planning for the Super Bowl was arranging travel, and it was decided that the 15 players on injured reserve would not fly down until Thursday rather than with the team. When it became known to Barnett and Finley that the team photo is taken on Tuesday after media day, they apparently became upset.


Based on his comments, McCarthy would have preferred they come to him.


“I think they made a poor decision, what they did,” McCarthy said. “But we feel great because if that’s the biggest issue that we have in our preparation, we are going to have a hell of a week. So it’s not that big of a deal.”


Once Rodgers and Woodson expressed their concern about the photo, McCarthy said he called general manager Ted Thompson and asked whether they could move the photo shoot to later in the week.


“I said I’m going to move it to Friday,” McCarthy said. “As you know how Ted is, he goes, ‘You take that picture any time you want.’ So we moved the picture to Friday. That’s really the end of it.”


Practice schedule set


The team will practice for the first time today after taking four days off.


McCarthy said the schedule was set based on a normal practice week with the usual Wednesday, Thursday and Friday practices being held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The team leaves on Monday, will take Tuesday off and then practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Dallas.


“We did the review for Chicago, and we moved on to the Pittsburgh Steelers and basically went through personnel,” McCarthy said. “That’s a normal Monday operation for us. So then today is a Tuesday, so the players are off. It gives them an opportunity to tie up any loose ends for travel for their family and so forth, getting ready for the trip to Dallas, and then tomorrow will be a Wednesday.


“So we are going on a normal schedule and Monday will be an adjusted Saturday for us, which is our travel day.”


McCarthy said the team would practice in pads today. and Saturday.


Injury update


The Packers had to release an injury report for the second consecutive day even though they didn’t practice.


There were no changes on it. The only players who were estimated not to have been able to practice were linebackers Erik Walden (ankle) and Frank Zombo (knee).


McCarthy said he was hopeful that everyone would be able to do something in practice today.


“I’m not really concerned about it because there will be a bunch of treatment going on today, and hopefully we’ll be close to full-go tomorrow,” he said.



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